Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of nearly 300 mid-market brands including Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, to become the latest sector operator to eye expansion in the hotel F&B market, after signing UK franchise agreements to operate restaurants at two UK hotels.
The deals, which are both with London Town Group (LTG), will see CDG create and operate a bespoke premium offering at the Hotel Indigo, London Paddington, as well as introduce a Bella Italia at the newly built Holiday Inn, in Wigstone. CDG has also signed separate management contracts to look after operations at both sites.
According to CDG’s chief executive Steve Richards, building new channels and formats is one of CDG’s strategic pillars and it has the platform to offer a variety of brands and bespoke formats to match individual hotel needs. It is thought to be looking at a number of bespoke formats in hotels across the UK.
Under the first deal, CDG has created a white label premium offering for Hotel Indigo’s London Street Brasserie restaurant, which will retain its name when reopened. The restaurant is set to reopen after refurbishment, with new staff and menus. In addition to the restaurant, CDG will also look after the hotel’s bar, and conference and banqueting needs.
The second franchise deal is for a site at the newly-built Holiday Inn, in Wigston, Leicester, which will include a brand-new Bella Italia restaurant. Construction started earlier this month, with plans to open early June.
Koolesh D Shah, Managing Director, London Town Group, said: “Putting together a competitive food and drink offer that challenges the high street presents a great opportunity for us to drive revenue. A one size fits all policy doesn’t always work, you need to be flexible in your approach and tailor the offer to suit the specific demographics. CDG has been invaluable in helping us with this process, they have a suite of high street brands, but also the capacity to put together bespoke premium offers and we look forward to working closely together in future.”
Mark Nelson, Managing Director of Concessions and Franchising, Casual Dining Group, said: “We’re a very diverse business with a range of specialist skills that have been honed over decades operating high street restaurants. Calling on this knowledge, we have taken our key learnings and offered help to adjacent industries like the hotel trade, with putting together a food and beverage offer that absolutely drives sales. Matching the right offer, with the right demographic is imperative to success and these two deals, at differing ends of the market, clearly demonstrate the range of our capabilities.”
CDG joins Brasserie Blanc and Carluccio’s in partnering with hotel operators to launch new sites.